CMB’s mission is to encourage, engage and equip our members to impact their community for Christ.
CMB’s Women in Radio is made up of ladies working at a radio station, a ministry, a record company, in promotions, artist management, or are connected to a Christian broadcaster. We believe there is power in connection and community. CMB Women in Radio is about nurturing, equipping, connecting and praying for one another.
Tell us about your family…
My husband, Ken, and I are just a couple months shy of celebrating our 34th anniversary. Along the way, we had a couple of great kids who have both brought such great joy to my life. Cody is 26 and out on his own. He made me a ‘LaLa’ (that is code for Grandma!) and his beautiful girl, Macey, pretty much owns my heart! My gorgeous ginger, Abby, is 20 and in the final stretch of college, all while interning for her major, and working full-time. They are both world-changers in their own way and they certainly have made my world so much better.
How long have you been in radio?
Going on 31 years since I ‘fell’ into my radio career; although, my parents would say I’ve been practicing for this all of my life. The day I called my dad and told him I was going to host a show on our brand new Christian radio station he laughed and said, “I can’t believe you found someone to pay you to talk!”
Give us your radio timeline…
In 1991, after a year of performing at PTL Club/Heritage USA in Charlotte, NC and four years of touring the country singing in two different bands, we stopped over in Delaware (my home state) for a short ‘break’. I connected with Bill Sammons who had just signed on the first Christian radio station in Delaware. He talked me into hosting middays on WXPZ, The Light FM, in March of that year. And just like that my touring days were done. Christian radio felt like the missing puzzle piece snapped into place.
That same year as the one-year anniversary of the station was coming up Bill asked me to come in and do the morning show with him. It was going to be a special ‘one-off’ to celebrate the station’s sign-on date. But November 5, 1991 proved to be so much more. At the end of the show, we looked at each other and said ‘that was so much fun! Maybe we should do it again tomorrow!’ …..this November 5 will be the 30th anniversary of our first morning show together. There were a few years between the sale of WXPZ and the start of WKNZ in Delaware; but when WKNZ, The Bridge, hit the airwaves in December 2010, and the launch included the reunion of ‘The Morning Show with Bill & Denise’, it’s been an amazing journey that only God could have orchestrated.
What do you do at The Bridge?
Program Director and Co-Host of The Morning Show with Bill & Denise. I host one of our podcasts for The Bridge Podcast Network that features conversations with women – for women – about things we care about, struggle with that we want to encourage each other in…entitled “Over The Rims of Mugs” because some of my favorite conversations have happened over the rims of mugs! In the spring and fall months, I’ve been honored to host ladies Bible studies. COVID caused us to take a break but we are gearing up to begin again, hopefully, in October!
In addition to your role at The Bridge, what else are you juggling?
I host a five-hour show on the weekends for the Christian FM Network. It gives me a chance to flex a different kind of communication muscle that I don’t get to use as much when I co-host the morning show with Bill. I love to write so I am writing for a devotional segment and a blog called ‘Treasured Within’ found at www.deniseharper.blog. We know so little about Jesus’ life growing up and what Mary experienced in those years as His mother…but I have always loved the verse in Luke 2 as word spread about Jesus’ birth that ‘Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart’. I have pondered so many things in this life and so many are treasured within my heart. Some of those treasures find their way into writing for a show or one of these other avenues.
What are some words of encouragement you can give to other ladies in radio?
Be yourself….just who God made you to be. Don’t allow the world to define you by your losses…OR your wins. Only the One who created you gets to define you…and God adores you! As a woman, you have the ability to tap into the true tenderness of God’s heart for His people. In a format that is largely meant to connect to the heart of a woman….again, be yourself! And be the kind of girlfriend to her that you would want to have coffee with or hang out with. In a world that judges, cancels, and finds all the negative…be kind and lead with grace and love. The world needs more of that from us.
Can you recommend a book that is encouraging to you?
Mike Donehey’s book, Finding God’s Life For My Will, is so good. I’m on my third read through it! But don’t expect to crack it open and read for hours. There is such good content between those covers but you’ll want to pace yourself and savor…kinda like Mary when she ‘pondered these things in her heart’!
Anything else you want to share?
If you are feeling a little (or a LOT) broken, there is such comfort found in the promise that God is near to the brokenhearted. I’ve known that verse by the ink on the page and the face value that it’s a promise we can count on from God. But in the past 12 months I have experienced it from a view I’d never seen or felt before. Last August my husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. The prognosis was staggering. Treatments that would be very difficult to endure and surgery that would be invasive and honestly overwhelming. And yet, we felt God’s presence and His peace. Ken’s mother passed away suddenly in October. God’s peace continued to cover us like a blanket.
The week Ken finished his treatments for cancer my youngest brother, Brent, was hospitalized with end stage liver disease. We had no idea he was sick. He lapsed into unconsciousness and never woke up. My sister-in-law, Kelly, and I held a vigil in his hospital room around the clock those last few days. We played The Bridge all day and all through the night. (A reminder that our Christian radio signals can go where no one else can go.) We believed that God could restore Brent to complete health. We felt God’s peace and hoped for His hand to move to that end. In the late hours of his last night, Kelly asked me a simple question. “So, how do you study the Bible?” You know that God can take what the enemy meant to harm us and turn it for good. In that moment, I heard God’s quiet whisper in my broken heart….’THIS is the good.’ Kelly and I have been studying together and God is doing something so special there.
Our broken places can become areas of strength if we will embrace God’s nearness. Let Him do His work and be willing to share our stories with others to encourage them to draw near to God as well. We don’t always get to choose what is poured into our lives but we can choose what we pour out.
Convoy of Hope encourages women around the world to realize their value and reach their potential through job training and education. As a result, many enrolled in their Women’s Empowerment program now own a business that allows them to better feed and care for their children.